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Brittany Tolbert
Kinlea Hensel
English 4
October 10, 2015
Firefighting
If you ask a firefighter what their typical day is like at the fire department they cant give
you just a simple answer. Being a firefighter is much more than just sitting around the table at
the firehouse, playing cards or checkers, waiting for the next fire to occur. The fire department
has evolved into a multi-faceted public service agency with an increasing workload. Firefighters
today are trained and skilled in topics including: Emergency medical treatment, hazardous
materials, computers and technology, public education, fire protection systems, apparatus and
equipment operation and maintenance, public administration, public relations and of course
firefighting. If you are thinking that firefighting is the job for you then be prepared for physically
challenging training, long irregular work hours with no rest, and the responsibilities of a
firefighter.
Before you can become an active-duty firefighter, you need to pass a physical fitness
exam. Exceptional physical ability is key to a successful career in the fire service (Ellis,Ellis).
Firefighting is a highly competitive field. Thousands of applicants apply every year across the
country, but most are rejected. To enter a training program, applicants take three exams: a
written test, a Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) and an aptitude test (Lawrence). The
main focus of the physical ability test is agility, upper body strength and endurance. When
applicants start training for the CPAT they run up and down stairs or stadiums, lift heavy sacks of
sand by rope, or jog in multi-level parking garages. When applicants take the CPAT they will do

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the stair climb, hose drag, equipment carry, ladder raise, forcible entry, search, rescue drag and
the Ceiling Breach and Pull ( California Fire Fighter).
Firefighters have very long and irregular work hours. Being a firefighter entails that they
have to work 24 hours on, and only have 48 hours off. Most commonly firefighters work in 24hour shifts, reporting to work at 0700 and work until 0700 the next day. Firefighters usually work
a total of 56 hours per week (Lepore). On top of having to work 24 hour shifts, most firefighters
still remain on call even if its their scheduled day off.
A firefighter has a lot of responsibility on their hands. One responsibility of a firefighter
is to help protect the public in emergency situations. As a firefighter, youll fight active fires or
make emergency medical calls as a result of accidental injury or disasters. Firefighters save lives
and millions of dollars a year in property damage (Firefighter). Firefighters also have to
respond to a wide variety of calls, such as car crashes, chemical spills, flooding, water rescue and
general rescue as well as fires. Firefighters are responsible for Attending emergency incidents
including fires, road accidents, floods, terrorist incidents, spillages of dangerous substances, and
rail and air crashes (Firefighter). Once the emergency site has been taken care of firefighters
are responsible for cleaning up and checking the site after dealing with an incident
(Firefighter)
Firefighters deal with a wide variety of situations, the firefighting field has changed and
evolved drastically. Firefighters have to go through intense training for their CPAT tests, they
have to deal with long and intense work hours with lack of sleep and they hold a ton of
responsibility in their hands. They go through all that stuff to protect and save the public. If
firefighting is the job for you, train hard, get in as much sleep as you can and never give up
because as a firefighter your responsibilities are to protect the public and ensure our safety.

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Works Cited

Lawrence, Cameron. "How Firefighter Training Works." HowStuffWorks. N.p., 30 Apr. 2006.
Web. 12 Oct. 2015.

"CA Fire Fighter Joint Apprenticeship Committee." - Candidate Physical Ability Test. California
Fire Fighter, n.d. Web. 12 Oct. 2015.

Lepore, Paul. "What to Expect Your First Year as a Firefighter." FireLink. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Oct.
2015.